By Robin Jones
FLYING Scotsman is to take part in a world first – when four trains will be run in parallel along the East Coast Main Line.
The unique showpiece event on the morning of Sunday, April 23, has been organised by Virgin Trains to mark the launch of its new Class 800 Azuma electric trains.
The four trains will be lined up at Tollerton Junction, six miles north of York.
One of them will be headed by Flying Scotsman, which Virgin Group founder Richard Branson helped buy for the National Railway Museum for £2.31 million in 2004.
The A3 will be towed to the starting point by a Class 55 Deltic, further reinforcing the heritage of the ECML.
The other trains, representing state-of-the-art East Coast transport over four generations, will include a Virgin trio – a Class 125 High Speed Train, an Intercity 225 set and a Virgin Azuma, representing the class being built by Hitachi in the North East, and will come into service in 2018.
In a once-in-a-lifetime event, the four trains will set off together, each on their own track, and run in parallel in a staggered formation to York at speeds between 20-25mph, highlighting the past, present and future of rail travel.
The rail spectacular comes days before the cycling ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ begins. The feat has been organised by Virgin Trains, Welcome to Yorkshire, Network Rail and the National Railway Museum.
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